Dried & shredded leaves of the tobacco plant. Hand-rolled or commercially produced cigars and cigarettes. Occasionally prepared for chewing.
Desired Effects:Reduced anxiety, relaxation.
Side Effects:Dizziness, nausea, increased pulse rate and blood pressure.
Long term risks:Dependence, bronchitis, heart disease, damage to circulation, cancers (lungs, throat, tongue). Tobacco smoking in pregnancy can result in damage to the foetus and low birth weight. Fresh tobacco, processed tobacco, and tobacco smoke contain carcinogens (cancer causing agents). All cigarettes produce 'tar' that is inhaled into the lungs via smoke, but the brands differ in amounts of tar. In the 1950s it was discovered that the tar in tobacco smoke was associated with the increased risk of lung cancer. Carbon monoxide, the main poisonous gas in car exhausts, is present in all cigarette smoke. In addition to this 600 additives are authorised for use in tobacco products many of which can be extremely harmful to the human body and health. Recent estimates show that around 82,800 people in England are killed by smoking every year, accounting for one fifth of all UK deaths.
Short term risks:Tolerance, burn injuries from fires started accidentally.
Central nervous system stimulant, neurotoxin.
Since October 2007 it has been illegal to sell tobacco products to anyone under the age of 18 (an increase from 16) in England, Wales and Scotland. Products affected include cigarettes, cigars, tobacco for roll your own and pipes as well as rolling papers.
Smoked, occasionally chewed.
Pipes, rolling papers, matches/lighter.
Can be prescribed or bought as nicotine gum or patches used to ease withdrawal during attempts to quit smoking.
Retail outlets, vending machines.
There are quit smoking clinics in every area - you can call Help To Quit on 0800 085 2219. There are also a range of other complimentary medicines and treatments available to help people stop smoking. Most GP surgeries have smoking cessation clinics and nurses who specialise in supporting people to give up. All quit smoking clinics can provide prescribing nicotine replacement therapy gum, inhalers or patches, advice, support and counselling and a range of other support structures.